The House Freedom Caucus released a letter Monday morning warning they won’t back a short-term spending bill that funds the government at last year’s levels unless they get major concessions that have no chance of passing the Senate, highlighting a major problem for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy could easily pass a short-term spending bill without the Freedom Caucus, but crossing them and bringing a short-term continuing resolution, or CR, to the floor could have political ramifications for the speaker.
The hardline conservative caucus says they won’t back a continuing resolution unless it includes a House border bill, a roll back of certain military policies at the Pentagon and deals with the “unprecedented weaponization of the Justice Department.”
Government funding is slated to expire September 30, but the House is not scheduled to return to Washington in full until the middle of next month. Last week, McCarthy said on a GOP conference-wide call that Republicans would need to pass a measure extending current spending levels in order to have more time to negotiate spending bills and avert a government shutdown.
McCarthy hasn’t said how long of a continuing resolution is necessary, but typically it’d go through early December if it followed the past precedent for these showdowns. McCarthy has said he doesn’t want this to go up against the Christmas holiday.